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An administrator had a unique opportunity to participate in the founding of a Louisiana college by becoming the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Because many of the new staff were not experienced in their positions, she found herself mentoring many young people at the same time. It was a role with which she was most comfortable, partly because she had been a speech communication teacher and partly because she had enjoyed positive relationships with older people in her profession. In addition to drawing on her own past, this administrator turned to Norma Carr-Fuffino's "The Promotable Woman," a book that offers advice about mentoring. Carr-Fuffino offers 12 ways a mentor can help a protege, among them: (1) teach, advise, counsel, coach, guide, and sponsor; (2) give insights into business; (3) serve as a sounding board for decision-making; (4) be a constructive critic; (5) provide information for career advancement; and (6) show how to move effectively through the system. This administrator faced a challenging task because while she had to guide young women in high positions, at the same time she had to reckon with the situation where these same women would be providing the leadership to much more traditional older men who were somewhat uncomfortable with women in high places. Her being a woman in a leadership position helped to convey the message that the job would be done in the most effective way possible--regardless of the age, gender, and race of the participants. (Contains a syllabus of a course on community college leadership.) (TB)

Descriptors: Administrator Role, College Administration, Higher Education, Leadership, Mentors, Professional Development, Sex Bias

Autor: Hopson, Carol S.


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